It has been almost a year since our family took in Freak Show Fannie, a 13-month-old, 45-pound, shepherd/Border Collie mix who was tossed from a moving vehicle in New Iberia when she was 10 weeks old, resulting in the destruction of the top of one of her rear femurs and frontal lobe damage that presents as permanent emotional and mild intellectual impairments. I sensed that Fannie’s foster mom, Ashley, a generous volunteer with Take Paws Rescue, expected that I would be returning with the dog then known as Annie Mae in the next few days. At the time Fannie had been adopted on trial by three different families each of which returned her within 36 hours because she was just so gloomy and miserable. We came close to being Fan’s fourth failed go at a Forever Home. She howled and moaned at night as she roamed the halls of our house like Betty Davis in search of her peignoir. By day she consoled herself by chewing on a leather sectional sofa or adding additional carving to a Biedermeier cocktail table I inherited from my grandmother. She was skittish and terrified of everything except other dogs. She needs a leader around to show her what to do so it was fortuitous for her that she had entered a home with three other female dogs, two of them mutts, all of them small and elderly including Lovebug, a five-pound, now 15-year-old Chihuahua with cataracts, few teeth, and a barely-medically-controlled level 5 heart murmur. The alpha dog leadership Fannie needed was dubious at best.
Then the pandemic kicked in. Because my husband Andrew and I are bleeding heart suckers we decided to take a chance on this dog that had no idea how to walk on a leash nor beg for a treat. (Andrew: “It’s not like this is the last dog we will ever take in a dog. It’s kind of what we do.”) We did not want to be another brick in this dog’s sad wall.
Fast forward a year. Today our four dogs are collectively referred to as The Brain Trust and Fannie is an ardent, if not imposing, defender of home and hearth. She sometimes does not flee when approached, enthusiastically awaits Andrew’s return home from work each evening, which signals an upcoming “walkie-poo,” a deeply held pleasure for which she will issue head butts to the posteriors of the humans in her circle should they attempt to postpone the walk. She has her favorite brands of treats and we stock them for her. She has friends in the neighborhood. She deeply inhales the fresh, fragrant air in my garden while lying in the sun as I toil in the dirt. She is secure and content.
If rescuing a dog sounds like an endeavor for your family Take Paws is hosting two events in the coming days. On Saturday from 9-11 a.m. (it will be sunny band warm-ish) the organization will have adoption-ready puppies and adult dogs on hand at City Bark dog park, located in City Park. On Monday, Feb 22, Take Paws will host a meet and greet with potential pets at Antieau Gallery (927 Royal St.,) from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Both events are free, open to anyone, and masks are required.
Kicking off on Friday, Pêche Executive Chef Ryan Prewitt and Chef de Cuisine Nicole Mills will offer a Whole Fish Fry menu through the Lenten season every Friday through April 2. The special dinners will be available for takeout, delivery, or dine in. A limited number of pre-orders will be taken on Thursdays. The regular seafood-focused à la carte menu will also be available seven days a week, and the chefs will offer weekly seafood specials. The fish fry dinner will serve three to four people and cost approximately $80 depending on the size of the fish. The meal includes a whole fried Gulf fish (i.e., redfish, flounder, snapper), cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, Brabant potatoes, hush puppies, and a salad. The fish will change according to what the fishermen bring in each day.
Stay warm and safe, everyone. Consider sharing your home with a dog in need if you have the means. Bettering another’s life brings great pleasure and fulfillment and dogs are excellent social and exercise companions. They are also comforting and efficient portable space heaters, most welcome indeed over the recent stretch of Four Dog Nights.